A young couple are drawn into a deadly game of cat and mouse when they investigate a piece of real estate and a psychopath starts to trail them. Brazen Bull is the title of the film and the killer’s mantra, which means he acts as if he has nothing to lose, when in fact he’s already lost everything.
The first act is a plodding mess of abysmal dialogue and weak acting from everyone. It was a genuine struggle for me to become invested in the story when there was nothing drawing me in. By the time it’s poor Michael Madsen’s turn to phone in another performance, I could care less about the torture his victims receive. There is something almost tragic about the fact that it was lack of talent that made me so callous to the lives of these fictional characters. A man’s hand is slowly sawed off, and I’m yawning.
The only convincing moments are credited to lead actress Jennifer Tisdale when she is purposefully acting badly for her friend’s camera, and a couple brief moments when she is in hysterics over her fiancé being mutilated. Beyond that, there is nothing offered. The entire story hinges on the revealing of some secret that these characters have…and it amounts to nothing more than a foreclosure going irrationally bad, along with some idiotic sub-plot about the main character’s mother being a cop.
Widescreen 2.35:1. The picture is pretty darn clear. The lighting is well adjusted in all scenes. I had the feeling that things should be a bit grainier on purpose considering how gritty it is trying to be, but I suppose one cannot complain too much about clarity when one receives it.
Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 available. The score is canned, the ADR of the voices is a bit troubling, but things are decently spread to all speakers. Not great by any stretch, but certainly not bad.
Behind the Scenes: Its almost a bit painful to watch how clueless the producers and writers are about how bad this film really is. There is not a single sparkle of doubt in their eyes as they speak and that makes me sad.
We do get a moment where Michael Madsen basically confesses to phoning in his performance when alluding to how he did not prepare at all for this, or other, roles.
Totally worth avoiding. I suppose it was Madsen’s star power that got this a release through Alliance, otherwise this film should have been rightfully booed and/or ignored at whatever Film Student Film Festival it weaseled into.